Ethiopian sensation Yalemzerf Yehualaw returning for Antrim Coast Half Marathon
and live on Freeview channel 276
Elite Race director James McIlroy said he was delighted the Ethiopian sensation is set to return to the scene of her unratified world record last year.
James said: “The one name we wanted back after last year’s unratified world record was Yalemzerf, and to get this news at the beginning of the season, means so much.
“She loves the course, the people, and the support she got last year along the route really spurred her on, so to have her confirm that she’s returning to the province is very special.
“As it stands, she has run four of the seven fastest all-time half marathons and just last week she ran the fastest ever 10km at altitude in winning the Great Ethiopian Run against some of the best distance runners in the world. At 22 years old she’s got so much more to come.”
James went on to say that he has a massive announcement coming soon in the men’s race but due to embargo he can’t make any statement for at least another couple of weeks.
Also, he is eager to see how this athlete will perform over the half marathon distance against early entries, European record holder and Great North Run winner Marc Scott, and last year’s second placed athlete Tesfahun Akalnew.
In the main race, the organisers announced at the start of the year that there will be an increasing commitment to sustainability, with competitors’ tees being fully recycled and the event also partnering with One Tree Planted and Mid and East Antrim Borough Council to plant a tree for every participant who enters the main event.
Five-time Olympian Jo Pavey is also set to return this year, pacing the two-hour group.
The organisers will be announcing famous pacemakers for the 1hr 30 minute and 1hr 45min categories over the coming months, in addition to giving local runners the opportunity to pace with the stars.
With entries starting to come in, the organisers have adjusted the course to improve the start experience and will also look to make things more exciting at the finish with a timing mat placed 600m out and prizes awarded to the fastest male and female finishers in the main race, as well as category and top five finishers prizes.
Also, for the first time, 2022 will see both the elite and the mass races streamed to a global audience.
Launching soon this month will be an all-new Classic Street Mile, taking place on the Saturday evening before the main World Athletics half marathon race on Sunday, for both children and adults.